Why Is Online Tutoring Booming? Part 1

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Tutoring is a growing industry worldwide

The tutoring industry has been called “an exploding sector” by Global Industry Analysts Inc., who project that the industry will be worth US$196.3 billion by 2020. In 2015, Julian Dierkes, an Asian Studies professor at the University of British Columbia said that an “extremely conservative estimate” for the global industry is US$100 billion annually.

A September 2018 IBISWorld report estimates the revenue for the US tutoring industry at US$8.1 billion, with an annual growth (2013-2018) of 3.0%.  They go on to say that in the years to 2023, the tutoring industry is projected to grow by 3.1% per year, compared to the GDP which is projected to grow 2.2% per year.  In 2015, the Canadian Tutoring Industry was estimated at C$1 billion.



What is contributing to this growth?


Household Income

Tutoring is classified as a discretionary purchase and is highly influenced by household income.  In Canada, a steady trend is the increase in the number of families with two full-time working parents, and therefore an increase in household income.

Number of College Students

In the US, the number of college students is expected to grow over the next five years at a rate of 1.4% per year to 22.1 million.  The labour market in Canada and the US is growing, giving students greater incentive to complete their schooling, decreasing the dropout rate.  Competition for college, university and specialized postgraduate courses remains high, especially in Canada.  Canada continues to rank first among the Organisation for Economic co-operation and Development (OECD) countries in the proportion of college and university graduates.

Number of K-12 Students

In Canada, from 2014 to 2018, there was estimated to be a 5% increase in the number of school age children (ages 5-14).  In the US, it is reported that parents are enrolling their children in tutoring programs at younger ages, and this trend is expected to rise over the next five years


Number of Employees

In the US an increase in workforce participation has led families to pay for tutoring services for homework supervision and other educational activities.


Dissatisfaction with education

In both Canada and the US, quality concerns about public education have driven demand for tutoring services.  In 2013 it was reported that the number of grade 7 and 8 Toronto Board of Education students who had a private tutor grew 60% from 2006 to 2011.  It was suggested that this was due to increasing class sizes.


Government Policy

The US federal government passed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in 2015.  ESSA promotes tutoring services as a supplement to school education; however, the government-funded tutoring programs have not been able to meet specified requirements and a major transformation is expected up to 2023.





Claire O’Connor, IBISWorld Industry Report 61169, Tutoring & Driving Schools in the US, September 2018.

Garry Marr, Financial Post Business, Get ready to fork over $1B Canada, School is back and so is tutoring, September 4, 2015

Sharanjit Uppal, Employment Patterns of Families With Children, Statistics Canada, June 24, 2015.

Please feel free to share this blog!  I am an experienced math teacher in Alberta, Canada.  I tutor math online and am accepting new students. 

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